Fox News's "Fair and Balanced" strategy today was to highlight President Obama as he attempted to rationalize this loss of what has been a position held by a Democrat since 1954 when John F Kennedy defeated Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. To be fair to Fox, President Obama seems to be doing all he can to reflect the elitism and arrogance of the Liberal Democratic leadership.
Fox News, et. al. (morning, afternoon, Beck, O'Reilly, etc) focused on pointing out President Obama attempts to blame this loss on citizen dissatisfaction over the Bush led administrations and consequently the voters are taking it out in this election. I can't figure the logic of that out, but it appears President Obama is going to ride the "blame the predecessor" horse for the foreseeable future. But that was not what caught my attention. It was a follow-on comment that really concerns me, and I believe reflects a fundamental belief for him.
His comment was along the lines of Over the past year I've been so busy solving the important (or immediate) problems that I've not done a good job communicating with the American people, telling them what their core beliefs should be. If he believes it is his, or the governments, job to establish a citizens core beliefs than he truly does think he knows better than each of us what we should believe. He would have government replace parents, and the church as institutions where our understanding of right and wrong, good and bad, and just and unjust are developed. I seem to recall a similar attempt to accomplish this in Germany in the 30's. I know Germany was Fascist, and it would probably be more correct to name any Communist state, but Fox seems to have monopolized that for their use.
From one of the vast centralist members of the population here is what I think are the top 5 reasons the Democrats lost what has for almost all my life been an easy win for them.
1. Arrogance -- The Democratic candidate thought the job was hers and she just had to wait through the formalities to be anointed. Even the citizens of Massachusetts have to get a little annoyed with that level of arrogance. The fact she made stupid statements and thought Kurt Shilling was a Yankee fan certainly didn't help, but today most candidates are little more that talking heads saying whatever their advisors suggest.
2. Charismatic and competent opponent -- The Republican candidate knew going in his chances were slim and he worked hard to talk, to listen and to connect with the average voter. In short he was able to the paint a picture for the voter that was almost in direct contrast with his opponent. This allowed him to control the tempo and the debate. The Democrat's were forced into a defensive campaign, attempting to limit damage. I suspect both candidates actually hold very similar views on most issues like health care, same sex marriage, pro-life (against), and foreign policy. Where Brown may differ is in a reluctance to impose government control of commerce.
3. The way Congress and the President have handled the Health Care debate and legislation. First let me say Massachusetts has a strong union base, and probably has good social and health care programs, especially when compared to places like the deep south. But when the President enters office promising an open government and the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate do everything they can to broker back room deals the average citizen recognizes the double standard being set. How many failed elections does it take to recognize that "do as I say, not as I do" doesn't work for politicians any better than parents.
4. Poor turn out of the far left student and central Boston minority voter base. The one really predictable thing about young voters is their short attention span and a rationalization they have better things to do than go stand in line to pull a lever. I suspect the same is true for the urban minorities. I know here in Fort Walton Beach the average voter turn out is predominately white, middle aged working class. Last year with President Obama on the ticket it was completely different. We had a hugh turn out of minority voters. There was no such compelling reason in this election, so I'm guessing they stayed home.
5. Finally, weak Democratic Party support. It was only in the last month that the national party really recognized this was going to be close. They probably suffer from the same arrogance as their candidate, but regardless of the cause, no one at the central party did very much to slow down Brown's efforts or bolster their own candidate. When they did make a half assed attempt and brought in the President he did absolutely nothing of substance to show how important it was for the party faithful to turn out and vote the party line.
With so much of the media attention on the Health Care Bill, and the Democrats posturing to blame the Republicans for all that is wrong with the world; this next year, and the Congressional Elections in the Fall will be a really interesting time. I know the conservative media are calling this a game changer election, but there is only so much hyperbole to throw around. I suspect this time next year Senator Scott Brown will be getting beat up by these same talking heads for not being the Conservative they think he should be and supporting the President on too many issues.
But then, I haven't been told what my Core Values should be.